At first glance, white tea appears soft and delicate, and one doesn’t expect any surprises from this subtle blend. However, once brewed the White Peony tea takes on another character entirely, as if its true strength is only emboldened when tested with hot water. It gives off a floral aroma, but a rich taste of hay and leather, a contrast in appearance and personality much like Fiona Paul’s heroine Cassandra in Venom.
Taking place during the tempestuous Italian Renaissance, an era of elaborate manors, discovery and creativity, the story follows an orphan of the Venetian aristocracy as she yearns for independence from the expectations of her great-Aunt and distant fiancé, Luca. Her life completely changes when she stumbles upon a murdered courtesan, and falls in love with a young artist who could be mixed up in all the danger.
Beautiful like the blossoms of the White Peony, Cassandra proves she is more than a pretty face when she tests her mettle and pursues dangerous clues over the darkened canals of Venice to uncover the truth surrounding the trail of bodies. What exactly is the Secret Order of the Eternal Rose? I look forward to unraveling this mystery over a few pots of this pleasantly warming tea, as I follow Cassandra’s ensuing adventures in Belladonna and Starling!
Tea Tasting Notes: nutty, warm, mellow, golden, honey, cardamom, floral